YOGA AT CHAR YOGA FITNESS & WELLNESS
According to the ancient yoga teachings, “Now” is the state of yoga. If we are mentally in the past, or future, we are not present in the now. We are dis-integrated. The state of yoga (being “in the now”) comes and goes. As humans we go back and forth between clarity and confusion, between focused attention and zoning out, between attachment and aversion, and between acceptance and denial. We also have a tendency at times to wish we could be different, or that circumstances could be different. This is where our practice of yoga proves to be incredibly helpful, because it helps us to return to the “Now” again and again, each time we roll out our mats. Meditation is the perfect complement to our yoga practice, because it allows us to not only be in the present moment, but also work towards accepting things as they are. These 2500 year old practices help us to improve our physical, emotional and mental well-being.
Ancient yoga texts also laid out a road map for us yogis to follow. Suggesting that yoga is made up of not just asana (yoga poses), but also a collection of attitudes and behaviors, which aid in minimizing our suffering, while helping us to chart our own journey towards contentment. We can achieve this state of happiness and satisfaction through several practices from these ancient written words, but here are a few that you will practice, or currently practice in Char’s group yoga classes and private yoga sessions.
Breath Control (pranayama)
Consistently working towards: Mastery Over External Influences (pratyahara) & Absorption (samadhi)
with the help of the yogic Guidelines & Principles (yamas & niyamas)
Come Flow with Char
Also referred to as Vinyasa Yoga. This class draws on traditional elements of Ashtanga, Hatha, Iyengar, Kundalini and Pranayama (breathwork). Sequenced to move like a well choreographed dance, using a combination of Asanas (yoga poses) that build strength and endurance, improve balance, increase flexibility and reduce stress; while mindfully synchronizing breath with movement. Vinyasa Flow classes are taught in both heated rooms (105-degree temps) and neutral rooms (approximately 72-degrees) All Levels
In-Person, or Online Private Sessions Only
YIN YOGA & MEDITATION
An easeful non-heated, non-flow, spacious practice that helps you to slow down, open and release by utilizing simple to access passive floor postures, stillness and holds of two to six minutes. This beautiful practice not only helps to regulate the flow of “Qi” energy by stimulating the meridians, channels, or pathways, but also helps to strengthen, lengthen, and hydrate the deeper connective tissue that is responsible for mobility and flexibility; such as the fascia, ligaments, tendons, joints and bones. This Yin Yoga class helps to improve flexibility, while building inner stamina and mental endurance with a complementary meditation and intertwined mindfulness practice. Yin Yoga is a wonderful stand alone practice, or the perfect complement to your “yang” yoga practice and exercise. Give the gift of “Yin” to yourself today, your mind & body will thank you! (Open to all levels.)
See Flow & Restore Clases
“In an age of speed, nothing can be more invigorating than going slow. In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.” ~Pico Iyer
Restorative yoga can help you to feel better, calmer and happier in your body, your mind and your life. This receptive and fully accessible practice, utilizes passive shapes supported by props and a deep sense of comfort and relaxation; bringing the mind, physical body and emotional being into balance. Poses are held from 5+ minutes giving the body ample time to transition into rest mode, while the mind is nurtured through a complimentary meditative practice. Smoothly progressing to an extended savasana with guided relaxation. Indulge in this wonderful opportunity to withdraw from the over stimuli of everyday business and flow into ebullience, blissful healing and total body harmony. Classes are either 60 min, 75 min, or 90 min depending upon location. Open to all levels. No prior experience necessary to enjoy the many wonderful benefits of a Restorative Yoga practice.
Char Offers Two types of Restorative Yoga Classes:
Energizing Restorative - Great for AM) Will leave you feeling feeling calm, grounded, refreshed and rejuvenated. A great way to begin your day.
Nourishing Restorative - Great for PM Promotes a quiet, restful quality and the perfect mind-body reset. A wonderful way to wrap up the day.
Derived from two Sanskrit words, ‘yoga’ meaning union, or one pointed awareness and ‘nidra’ meaning sleep. Also known as “The Sleep of the Yogi” Since Yoga Nidra and Sleep are closely intertwined. Yoga Nidra is a meditative, regenerative practice that offers similar benefits as those resulting from sleep, which helps our wounds to heal, improves memory, boosts the immune system, manages pain, and lowers stress. When practicing Yoga Nidra, the body relaxes, while the mind stays awake and one-pointed as it is in meditation. Because we're working with the unconscious mind, this practice allows us to tap into the creative center and pull it into the conscious world, while awakening our inner wisdom through wholeness, fullness and stillness.
Join Char for this mindfully sequenced healing journey of profound relaxation, deep meditation and guided imagery. Connecting you to a deep state of peace, pure consciousness, strength and serenity. As you connect with every aspect of yourself and especially that part of you untouched by experience of life. Helping you to uncover your true nature, come into harmony and return to a true state of union.
PERINATAL: PRENATAL & POSTNATAL YOGA
Join Char Willingham for weekly online prenatal yoga classes designed to support birth givers and Moms-to-be at every stage of their pregnancy journey. Each Asana practice offers skilled instruction, stretching, strengthening, stabilizing, and flowing movements that help prepare birth givers and Moms for birth and parenthood by connecting them to their body, baby, and a community of fellow Moms and Birth Givers. Movements are considered for every trimester, with the help of props and attention to alignment suitable for growing baby and changing body. Integrated practices such as meditation, guided visualization, and pranayama give Birth givers and Moms the opportunity to tune into the incredible wisdom of their bodies, take comfort in their breath and relax into the physical, emotional and mental demands of pregnancy. Postnatal yoga classes are an excellent way for birth givers and Moms to ease back into movement, stretching, strength-building, and core integration appropriately designed for their postpartum journey. Both classes provide ample opportunity for birth givers to savor every moment of their perinatal self-care.
Weekly Prenatal Yoga Classes:
Holistic Full Spectrum Birth Support & Perinatal Education (here)
Char Willingham is the Director or the Prenatal Yoga School at Down Under Yoga in Boston. She's also a Doula and a Childbirth Educator Read more here
YOGA FOR BREAST CANCER & RECOVERY
Private Sessions Only
A personalized and nurturing yoga practice for individuals at all stages of detection and care. Including those with lymphedema and metastatic breast cancer. Sessions include adaptive yoga poses that are appropriate for each person's stage of treatment, combined with meditation and other optional relief practices. These are private sessions that are free to all cancer patients, but require pre-scheduling. Please email, or complete the contact form for additional information.
YOGA FOR TRAUMA SURVIVORS
Trauma Sensitive Yoga & Trauma Informed Yoga
“Yoga isn't about self improvement, its about self acceptance”
Yoga promotes a strong connection with mind and body and within the practice of yoga people have opportunities to heal and grow. Yoga has proven beneficial for addressing stress, trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction recovery, and even personal growth. Yoga for Trauma focuses on body awareness in the present moment, utilizing techniques that are based on the theoretical underpinnings of attachment theory, trauma theory, and neuroscience. Unlike traditional yoga, ‘Yoga for Trauma’ emphasises the internal experiences of the individual, rather than outward form. Through appropriate guidance, people in treatment can gain the tools needed to address their experience in real time by taking effective action. Everything within the framework of a trauma sensitive practice is optional, gentle, and designed to help individuals befriend their bodies. Incorporating trauma sensitive yoga into recovery helps participants experience a decrease in trauma-related symptoms and an increase in positive traits and emotions such as grace, compassion, relating to self and others, acceptance, centeredness, and empowerment.
CHAIR YOGA & MINDFULNESS
Call to Schedule
Chair Yoga & Mindfulness is an ideal class for both Adults & Children. In this class the chair not only replaces your yoga mat, but yoga poses are performed while sitting in a chair. The chair also becomes a prop used to offer stability and support, while performing various yoga poses. Participants also learn meditation, mindfulness, breathing and relaxation techniques. This class is suitable for all ages, fitness levels and physical conditions.
GENTLE BODY YOGA
“Movement is life. Life is process. Improve the quality of the process and you improve life itself.” ~Moshe Feldenkrais.
A fusion and synergy of yoga, meditation, mind and body integration with functional, somatic and corrective exercises that engage the brain through movement. This practice utilizes progressions and regressions that incorporate slow, gentle and mindful movements to increase body awareness and heal persistent tension-based patterns in the body, that often lead to chronic pain and feelings of despondency and discouragement. This goal of this class is to bring about more efficient, coordinated and pain-free physical functioning by depatterning the body, re-educating and strengthening the muscles and improving brain to muscle awareness. Anyone can suffer from chronic pain, but once your sensory motor system improves, your musculoskeletal structure and overall health can improve as well.
Check Back for Schedule
Taoist yoga embodies the elements and rhythm of nature in this dynamic and regenerative practice; combining a synergistic blend of Taoist breathing, gentle yoga stretching and flowing martial arts movements. Designed to awaken the body's energy pathways, nurture the joints, and center the mind. As a branch of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), this ancient healing art has been practiced for thousands of years as a way to keep the body's life force energy (Qi) circulating and flowing. Encouraging a heightened state of awareness of one's own internal energy, which helps to facilitate health, happiness, and inner peace; leaving the practitioner feeling tranquil and revitalized.
HOT POWER FLOW
Hot Power Yoga with Char
Power Yoga is a dynamic yoga practice that draws upon traditional elements of Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Hatha, Iyengar, Kundalini, Baptiste, Pranayama and Meditation. This amazing whole body yoga helps to build physical strength, improve cardiovascular conditioning, calorie-burn, muscle development and overall flexibility. Through a creative mix of standing postures, floor postures and connecting postures known as Vinyasas, which help to improve strength in the upper body, back, chest and triceps. Join Char Willingham each week for a powerful and enlightening, stress relieving flow that will reawaken your entire body, improve mental focus, calm your mind and reconnect you with your true nature,
This is a heated practice taught in a room set to 95-105 degrees with 40%+ humidity.
A gentle, yet dynamic alignment-oriented practice with an emphasis on deep breathing, mindfulness of movement, flexibility, balance and core strength. An ideal practice for those who enjoy the steady movement of a Vinyasa practice, but at a slower pace and with fewer, to no vinyasas. This class also integrates meditation, chanting, kriyas and breathwork, depending upon location. Leave each class feeling calm, peaceful and renewed. Taught in a neutral room (approx 72-degrees) open to all levels.
SPA YOGA® WEEKLY RETREAT
SPA Yoga® is a slow-flow, floor-based, whole-body sensory experience that engages all of the five senses. Relax as Char guides you through a mindful flow consisting of deep stretches, soft candlelight, soothing music, aromatherapy and gentle hands-on assists/massage. Enjoy a physical practice that slowly opens the body, while enhancing the body’s subtle energy and prepares your for deep relaxation and new depths of awareness through an extended, guided savasana. Wrap up this amazing class with an enhanced appreciation of taste, with the occasional gourmet chocolate and leave each class feeling as if you’ve just stepped out of a SPA! A great way to start your morning, or end a long work day! Reserve your spot today!